I am a songwriter with a bend toward country/gospel music. Using the guitar as my primary instrument, I write from the heart about personal life experiences or experiences that have touched me in some way. My desire is for someone to perform my songs and take them to the professional level.
Coffee Club was the very first song I ever wrote, and still the one most requested. At the time I was a drywall contractor living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I was supposed to meet a contractor at this little breakfast joint in Ishpeming. While waiting for my appoint to arrive, I embraced the sights, sounds and smells of that bustling little café. Off to my left was a large table that, as the hour wore on, was slowly filling with a group of retired miners. I was especially intrigued with their conversations about the old days. The rest is pretty self-explanatory – and yes, the waitress’s name really was Rosie. Give it a listen.
Brotherhood of One
Brotherhood of One was written for the dedicated men and women of the Henry Fire Protection District. I hadn’t been a volunteer firefighter long when I realized what an incredible group of people these were. It isn’t just their willingness to race into a burning building or crawl under a smashed-up car, but moreover, it’s the hours of meetings and trainings, the inconvenience of being woken up at 3am, quite often for something very small. It’s the sacrifice they give to the community that inspired me to write this; I hope you like it.
The Brotherhood of One music video, though not professionally produced, hopefully captures just a taste of the love and compassion these wonderful people have for the community. Those are the real people I volunteer with on the department and I can’t thank them enough for their dedication.
BTW – the super sweet fiddle and mandolin parts were done by a man named Tim Crouch. I was so incredibly privileged to work with him. He’s played with the likes of Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and The Oak Ridge Boys just to name a few.
Fontana Bay was written in two parts. I had the most of the music written for several weeks but was struggling to find any lyrics; everything sounded contrived. Then my wife Jane, who was dying from breast cancer, and I drove up to The Abby in Fontana Wisconsin, which sits on the shores of Lake Geneva. The trip took a lot out of her, so after checking in I tucked her in for a nap and went for a 26-mile drive around the lake. By the time I got back to Fontana the bright blue sky turned very menacing so I scrambled into a bar called Chuck’s, passing some fragrant flowers on the way in. I ordered a red wine and asked the waitress for a pen and a placemat…the rest is in the song.
Just a Step Away
Just a Step Away. When I decided to write a song for my stepdaughter Bel’s wedding, I knew I wanted to play off the word step. I thought about step towards, step over etc. but nothing seemed to work. But then it hit me, if you ever need me I’m just a step away, and I knew I had found my hook.
I wrote music and lyrics for the song Home Again separately. The music I wrote on the front porch of the trailer we were living in at the time, in Wildwood Georgia. The trailer, which at the end of a dead-end road, was actually part of a beautiful 20-acre horse farm right at the base of Lookout Mountain. Just as the sun was setting that evening an old station wagon parked at the end of the road. A group of men and bloodhounds got out – they were going coon hunting. The original music came to me as I watched them climb the steep hillside lanterns swinging in the darkening evening. I just started picking this simple melody and the chord progression kind of jut followed it.
The lyrics came a few months later, when I was fishing the banks of the Tennessee River. A riverboat pilot passed me with a full set of barges and kind of tipped his hat to me. He’s immortalized in these lyrics.
I wrote this one night after being totally infuriated with technology. I may not be a techno-peasant, probably more like techno-resistant. It’s a funny song, I hope you think so to. Nice sax and lead guitar.
I wrote Diesel Dan for my buddy Dan Sampson’s 40th birthday. The song actually has some truth to it. He was a tanker driver once and hauled fuel from Bay City to Sault Ste. Marie Michigan…oh, and he does have a friend named Jim. The rest…well it’s just for fun!